Archive | Business RSS feed for this section

$200 Jeans …

9 Apr

A week or so ago, Rock & Republic announced they were filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection and it only got the wheels in my head turning. My sarcastic rhetorical thought was, “so the $200 pair of jeans company lost its appeal during a recession/economic downturn” but then I considered True Religion & some of the other premium denim companies that are still having retail success. Why is True Religion able to sell jeans at $300 price tag, but Rock & Republic struggles at $220? Perhaps the branding, demand, and design was not that strong after all.

Let’s be honest though, Rock & Republic was late to the premium denim game, furthermore, their downfall has concurrently been in line with Levi’s surge in popularity. Maybe just maybe, people actually do exercise better judgment in discretionary spending in economic tough times. Maybe the hispters, fashionistas, & trendy individuals have opted for $70 denim instead of $200. But then again, denim quality to me at this point in my life is not something I compromise with as it has become common place to wear them to all functions.

As I do own a few pair of their jeans, I can say the lack of consistency in their cut and denim quality definitely did not help their cause; but I do like their jeans. At this point I’m curious to see if all high-end denim can make a comeback & if Levi’s shelf space will decrease.

Google It

17 Mar

Super Bowl Sunday I’m watching the epic football game & this comerical comes on:

Without question it was out-of-place and perhaps tacky for a football game, but (huge but), it might have been the most insightful & thoughtful advertisement I’ve ever seen.  The genius behind a search that marked each progressive step in that relationship is brilliant.  The commercial clearly stood tall amongst the others and I’m sure captured the hearts of the female audience.  A search engine has become a love counselor, who would have thought?

I have insurance …

14 Mar

Yesterday, I caught one of my favorite movies on TV & the scene captured a moment that no one should endure in America. More importantly it touched on a debate that has been going on in Washington for more than a year now, in actuality its been going on for decades.

In this scene John Archibald’s son is dying, and like most people he pays for health insurance. Yet somehow his son’s operation will not be covered by his employer sponsored plan.  A point to consider is that he is not on Medicaid (government healthcare for poor).  Yet, the life saving heart operation is deemed “elective”.  Since when is life or death elective?  No one in their right mind chooses to be sick!  It is morally reprehensible to deny coverage, especially when it makes the difference between life and death.  Which brings me to our current political debate & why at a minimum insurance reform is a necessity.

Even if Congress does not overhaul the entire health care system and expand coverage to all, the practices of health insurance companies are murderous at best.  I’m not even going to speak on the rapid inflation of health care costs & how they can justify their ridiculous cost drivers. Let me be clear…If you pay for insurance, everything should be covered.  The primary argument against reform is the car insurance analogy: you get don’t everything if you only pay for liability coverage. My rebuttal is that unlike tumors;  operating a vehicle is a choice.

Pre-existing conditions are another issue that must be addressed. As I stated earlier, no one chooses to have an illness and most are willing to pay for coverage.  So for companies to deny service because of a prior ailment is discriminatory.  Being sick does not make anyone less of a person, so they should be treated like everyone else & have accessibility to the health care coverage of choice.  This practice of exclusion and selective coverage is commonly used by insurance companies and often forces people to go broke in the event medical catastrophes.  Let’s be real how many people can pay out-of-pocket for cancer treatment?

All that being said, the most disturbing part of all this, is that politicians vote to protect these companies in name of big business & campaign donations.  Yes, healthcare does account for 20% of the US economy and insurance profits maybe squeezed. But my question to them is what is the cost of human life?  How can they sleep at night knowing people are paying for a service they’ll never get and in turn might deliver their death-blow?  This not a political argument, it a question of morality, and brings the hierarchy of our values to the forefront.

iPad

7 Mar

Apple is set to launch its much hearlded iPad on April 3rd to much fanfare & anticpation. I understand critics have knocked the device in comparison to a workbook/laptop becuase of its limited creative capabilities. However, I suspect they are missing the scope of this device.  This tablet is meant to be used for media consumption i.e. a Kindle, iPod Touch,  with 10 inch screen, gaming & e-mail capabilities all wraped in one.

While I may be biased as my phone & laptop are Apple products, this product will keep Apple at forefront of innovation & media consumption.  Commuting and travel will become a lot more bearable when you have your magazines, books, newspapers, movies, pictures, music, & social networking applications in one place.  Once again Apple will change the way we consume media in our lifetimes.

PS I will purchase one when they launch the 2nd generation, when software kinks are worked out & more features are added.

iTunes Blues

5 Mar

Let’s be clear, the music industry is failing and the revenue model is broken. I understand most of their profit comes from ringtones & on-line downloads. However, iTunes price model is very annoying. Paying $1.29 for select tracks is a flippant way of backhanding people that still purchase music legally!

Mr. Jobs we get it, your pimp hand is “way strong”. However, you didn’t have to concede to the record industry moguls. The consumer now is taking the brunt of this fuckery.

I prefer round numbers & 99 cents a track made sense as most albums are garbage these days. People stopped buying CDs when places like Sam Goody or The Wall were charging $17 for hot albums, you see where that got them. Kazaa & Limewire come with lawsuits & viruses so I’m off that.

Furthemore, when iTunes raised the price of popular tracks to $1.29 it was with the understanding that older/less popular songs would be lowered to 69 cents.
1. There is a reason no one wants those songs, they suck.
2. It’s been over a year & I have yet to see a song on iTunes that costs $.69.

Lastly it defies logic as the gift cards come in $5 increments, they weren’t redone to accout for the price increase. Sure I’d pay $64.50 for what was traditonally a $50 gift card. At least I’d know every time I hit the “buy song” button it accounted for 1 song & not a conditional fraction of another one depending on it’s popularity.

Hybrid Gas Guzzler

4 Mar

This week Porsche rollled out it’s Spyder 918 which is it’s first attempt into the popular forray of “Green” cars. Yes, the car is a hyrbid but the premise of owning a “green” anything… that is designed for speed or power is asinine.

A car with a V-8 engine is built for power which eqautes to high gasoline consumption. However they’re boasting a fuel economy of 78mpg. We all know if I had that whip… I’m not going to be moving with traffic. The reality is you can’t tap maximum acceleration & expect to experience great fuel economy.

I’m not mad at Porsche for trying to tap into the trendy Eco-conscious of consumers. I’m waiting to laugh at the 1st jackass to claim he’s saving gas money with this hot wheels car, while he’s flooring the gas pedal. Catch you later sucka!